Two public schools in Muntinlupa started holding face-to-face classes on Monday, Dec. 6, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Tunasan National High School (TNHS) and Putatan Elementary School (PES) are two of the 177 additional public schools included by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in the next two weeks.
Face-to-face classes were suspended last year when the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Dr. Dominico Idanan, Muntinlupa schools division superintendent, and Dr. Ador Querubin, TNHS principal, welcomed the students during a flag raising ceremony.
“This morning, this is the happiest at Tunasan National High School because finally we are conducting our face-to-face classes,” said Querubin.
Idanan said, “Today is a blessed day. Today is history in Tunasan National High School, even in the entire National Capital Region. We wish you the best for this program.”
“This is only a pilot program. This will last until Dec. 17. We are under study. We are still observing strict health protocols because we are still under a pandemic. We have to wear face masks, we have to observe physical distancing, we have to wash our hands very often and disinfect ourselves, keep away from crowded places,” said Idanan.
He said that by January, the city government plans to expand the coverage of the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in Muntinlupa.
“Hopefully by January, all schools will have to pilot at least one or two sections,” added Idanan.
The two public schools underwent strict safety assessments. They are equipped with facilities including hand washing stations, proper ventilation, physical barriers, markers and signages, thermal scanners, and air purifiers.
Those who are not included in the face-to-face classes will continue their education through distance learning.
The Department of Health and DepEd issued Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 dated Sept. 27 on the guidelines in the implementation of limited face-to-face classes.
Under the guidelines, the participation of students in face-to-face classes “is voluntary with signed written consent from parent/guardian.”
“Only learners from within the city/municipality where the school/learning center is located shall be considered, can walk going to school, or, with regulated public transportation, or with available private transport, and without existing comorbidities,” according to the guidelines.
The allowed number of students per class during the pilot implementation of the program are: Kindergarten – maximum of 12 learners in a class; Grades 1 to 3 – maximum of 16 learners in a class; Grades 4 to 6 – maximum of 20 learners in a class; Grades 7 to 10 – maximum of 20 learners in a class; Grades 11 to 12 – maximum of 20 learners in a class; and TVL workshop and science laboratory – maximum of 12 learners in a workshop/laboratory.